Personal Learning Account (PLA)
- Personal Learning Accounts (PLA)
Discover free and flexible courses across a range of subject areas at Coleg Cambria designed to help you progress or change your career.
If you’re over 19 years old and living in Wales, in employment earning under £29,534 a year, or your job is at risk, a Personal Learning Account (PLA) is a great way to access part-time study on specific courses.
What is a Personal Learning Account?
A PLA allows you to study flexible, part-time courses around your existing life and commitments. It enables you to obtain the skills and qualifications you need to switch careers and embark on a new pathway.
PLAs provide flexible and fully-funded learning, both online and face-to-face.
You’ll be able to get new skills and qualifications that local employers need to help you progress your current career or change it altogether.
All of the courses on offer are being funded by the Welsh Government. You can see the full list of PLA courses at Coleg Cambria below.
Discover Our PLA CoursesPlease click for more information
Who is Eligible?
Your eligibility will be checked when you apply. You must:
- Live in Wales
- Want to gain skills/qualifications in priority sectors
- Be 19 years old or over.
In addition you must meet the following criteria:
- Be employed (including self-employed), earning under the median income (£29,534), or
- A worker on a zero hour contract, or
- Agency staff, or
- At risk of being made redundant, or
- Employed and been negatively impacted by the economy eg the hospitality industry.
Do I Need Any Specific Skills or Qualifications?
As the programme is aimed at people that would like to change their career then no prior knowledge is needed of the sector. Some of the courses can be accessed with no specific skills or qualifications.
However, you can discuss the course requirements when you have your discussion with a member of the Personal Learning Accounts team from Coleg Cambria.
How Is the Course Being Funded?
Welsh Government is funding 100% of the course costs.
Can I Access More Than One Course?
Prior to starting the course you will be offered to develop a training plan which will set out the courses / qualifications you can do to help you progress your career in whichever sector you choose.
You can access more than one course, but must finish one course before starting another.
Why Have These Courses Been Chosen?
Skill shortages within the digital, construction and engineering, health and financial sectors are creating recruitment issues among employers. These courses have been chosen following extensive engagement with employers, stakeholders, representative groups and potential participants to ensure they address the skill shortages within these sectors.
Will Personal Learner Account Funding Support Childcare, Travel etc?
Any additional costs such as childcare and travel will not be funded.
Do I Need to Prove My Eligibility?
Yes, you will be asked to show your photo ID and proof of earnings before completing a self-declaration form.
When Do I Study for My Qualification?
The college is flexible and will aim to deliver the learning around your family and work commitments; your availability will be discussed during your pre-admission assessment.
You will need to arrange your own time to study your qualification. You could learn in a classroom environment or online class on a certain day of the week.
Due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19, courses will be delivered in-line with current government regulations.
Are PLAs Open to the Self-Employed?
Yes they are open to anyone who meets all other eligibility criteria.
Who is Ineligible?
People are ineligible (at the point of application) if they are:
- Under the age of 19; or
- attending school or college full-time as a pupil or student; or
- in full-time higher education or
- in Welsh Government funded Work Based Learning
- an ineligible overseas national; or
- in receipt of an Assembly Learning Grant or Education Maintenance Allowance; or
How Do I Know When the Course Will Run?
Coleg Cambria will do its best to meet the needs of everyone when planning the dates and times to run the courses.
We are flexible and will aim to deliver the learning around people’s family and work commitments. Your availability will be discussed during your pre-admission assessment. In addition, a number of online courses are being delivered by the college.
How Much Will It Cost Me?
The course is free and will be 100% funded by the Welsh Government.
However, you will need to pay for your travel and ensure you have sufficient time to be able to commit to attending and completing the course.
If I Drop Out of the Course Would I Be Able to Apply Again?
We understand circumstances change. You could apply to start a new course, if you still met the eligibility criteria for the programme. However, if you dropped out of your second course you would not be entitled to future funding through the Personal Learning Account.
What Type of Account Is It? Do I Get Money Directly?
You wouldn’t receive the money directly. The college will be paid directly by Welsh Government.
What Happens if I’m Made Redundant During the PLA Course?
If you are made redundant during your PLA course then we can work with you to ensure that you maximise funding available to you should you wish to re-train.
Please contact us for more information.
Can My Employer Apply on My Behalf?
Personal Learning Accounts can be accessed by your employer but eligibility criteria does apply and can be discussed on application.
Can I Provide Feedback?
We’d be very interested to hear your personal story about how a PLA has helped you to change career and realise your aspirations. These questions will be part of your learning plan.